For the district, adding two alternative calendars that extend the year is all about giving teachers, staff and parents options when it comes to staying on track.
- The Daily Beast
Ozan Kose/GettyMOSCOW—Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has announced that the military had attempted a coup on Thursday, the latest development in a country still recovering from last year’s lost war with Azerbaijan.Now, politicians and political analysts are speaking of Russia’s hand in the attempted coup, pointing to President Vladimir Putin’s strained relationship with Pashinyan. On Tuesday, Pushinyan had insulted Moscow by complaining about Russian missiles, an indirect criticism of the Kremlin’s strategy of waiting to intervene until Armenia was weakened in the conflict, despite its official status as a military ally.“They didn’t explode, or maybe 10 percent of them exploded,” Pashinyan said of the missiles on Tuesday. The military generals—already angry over Pashinyan’s firing of military generals in an effort to modernize the force—objected, setting off the conflict.According to political analyst Artur Paronyan, Russia’s General Staff Chief Valery Gerasimov had made a call to his Armenian counterpart, General Onik Gasparyan, earlier in the day. “Moscow clearly signaled to General Gasparyan to get rid of our prime minister,” Paronyan told The Daily Beast.Led by General Gasparyan, dozens of generals signed a statement calling for Pashinyan’s removal over his alleged inability “to make adequate decisions in this crisis.” It marked the first direct intervention by the military in Armenia’s domestic politics since 2008, when 10 demonstrators were killed after the military clamped down on a protest in Yerevan’s Freedom Square.Armenia has healed from that tragedy, and has since changed course. Over the past decade, the country has developed a vibrant civil society, confronting some of its most acute social issues. But the threat of a war with Azerbaijan over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh has been up in the air for decades. Generations grew up preparing for the next war, and in September, the fighting began. It went on for six weeks, and Armenia was turned upside down.If Kim Kardashian Had an Armenian Man in Armenia, She’d Be At RiskAfter the war, thousands of bitter protesters crowded Yerevan’s center, blaming the government for the defeat and demanding Pashinyan’s resignation. A Russian-brokered ceasefire saved Armenia from defeat in Nagorno-Karabakh, but it also left Armenia desperately dependent on Russia for security.The opposition called for Pashinyan’s ouster, and was joined by the army on Wednesday. Many men in crowds of protesters wore military uniforms and said they would not leave Freedom Square until Pashinyan was gone. On Thursday, General Gasparyan published his statement formally calling for the prime minister’s resignation and criticizing him for “discrediting” the military.In an exclusive interview with The Daily Beast, Pashinyan’s key rival, former Minister of Defense Vazgen Manukyan, claimed he had powerful support from the Russian military. “We blame Pashinyan for the total diplomatic failure in peace negotiations with Baku and for our defeat in the war against Azerbaijan’s aggression.” He added that he was “in touch with all the commanders,” and that he knows that “some operations [led by Pashinyan] were more than dubious.”“Everything that my army managed to win from 1992 to 1993, he lost. We plan to put Pashinyan on trial and investigate why we have lost territories and 5,000 lives,” he said. Manukyan also stressed his support for peaceful demonstrations only, as a civil war would devastate an already vulnerable Armenia.Many of Manukyan’s supporters are openly championing Russian support for the coup. “The war showed us that neither the United States nor France were here to save us. Moscow negotiated peace for us. Even now, Russian peacekeepers are on guard in the conflict zone,” a pro-Manukyan analyst, Stepan Danielyan, told The Daily Beast.Armenian leaders have had a hard time earning the trust of a disillusioned public. The public demanded justice for years after the massacre in Freedom Square, blaming the president at the time, Robert Kocharyan, for ordering the shootings. A velvet revolution swept Nikol Pashinyan, once a political prisoner, to power in 2018. The same year, a court ordered former President Kocharyan arrested on charges related to the shooting incident.“Putin considers Pashinyan a traitor and an enemy who failed in his promises many times,” Sergei Markov, a Kremlin analyst, told The Daily Beast.Markov explained how the conflict between Putin and Pashinyan goes beyond the missile insults. According to media reports, Putin had unsuccessfully lobbied for the release of his friend, former president Kocharyan, after his 2019 arrest.“Putin called Kocharyan on his birthday a few months ago to demonstrate what he thought of that arrest,” says Markov. “Now the Kremlin would like to see him drink the entire glass of shame so everybody would see what happens to an American puppet.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- Associated Press
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told sailors on the USS Nimitz Thursday that he hopes to avoid long ship deployments like the more than 10 months they just spent at sea. Standing in the ship's hangar bay, Austin said he will make a decision soon on whether to send a carrier back to the Middle East, where the Nimitz had been.
- The Independent
‘The chair cannot entertain the gentleman’s request’
- The Week
U.S. Capitol Police will maintain "enhanced and robust" security, as militia groups tied to the deadly Jan. 6 riot reportedly discussed a desire to "blow up the Capitol." Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman revealed these reported threats during a congressional hearing Thursday about the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol building, in which she was asked about heightened security in the nation's capitol, including fencing and National Guard presence, per Politico. "We know that members of the militia groups that were present on Jan. 6 have stated their desires that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible with a direct nexus to the State of the Union," Pittman said. Based on this, Pittman told lawmakers officials believe it's "prudent that Capitol Police maintain its enhanced and robust security posture" until "vulnerabilities" are addressed. She said, however, that "we have no intention of keeping the National Guard soldiers or that fencing any longer" than needed. Pittman also noted that the "insurrectionists that attacked the Capitol" on Jan. 6, when Congress was meeting to certify the election results, hoped to "send a symbolic message to the nation as to who was in charge of that legislative process." Politico reports that "while authorities are aware of future attacks being discussed by the militia groups that attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, it's unclear how developed or serious the intelligence around those plans may be." No date for President Biden's first address to a joint session of Congress has been set. Pittman previously apologized in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot for "our failings," and on Thursday, she told lawmakers that officials knew there was a "likelihood for violence by extremists," though she also said that "no credible threat indicated that tens of thousands would attack the U.S. Capitol." More stories from theweek.comDemocrats should take the Romney-Cotton proposal seriouslyThe GOP's apathy for governing is being exposedWhat Josh Hawley's minimum wage proposal has in common with his election lies
- Business Insider
China's massive Coast Guard and a new law expanding what it can do have worried its neighbors, maybe none of them more so than Japan.
- USA TODAY
'Get used to me': Defiant Postmaster General Louis DeJoy pushes back at lawmakers at tense hearing on mail delays
Tempers flared as Democrats pressed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on delays in holiday mail and slow deliveries of prescription medicines.
- Business Insider
Experts say Dominion and Smartmatic could win their defamation lawsuits, but MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell says they have 'zero' chance
The Trump backers Rudy Giuliani, Sydney Powell, and Mike Lindell face defamation lawsuits from Dominion and Smartmatic that may succeed, experts say.
- Associated Press
Danilo Gallinari set a Hawks franchise record with 10 3-pointers in a 38-point spree that carried Atlanta to a 127-112 rout of the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night. Gallinari broke the mark of nine 3-pointers by Steve Smith in a 1997 game against Seattle. The Hawks also eclipsed the overall team record by going 23 of 42.
- Reuters Videos
GameStop shares shot higher on Thursday after doubling in the previous session, triggering a series of New York Stock Exchange trading halts and leading a surprise resurgence of so-called “stonks” championed by passionate retail investors on various online forums.GameStop shares hit $160 at the open before being halted after several minutes of trading and fell to around $129 before the second halt. The stock resumed trading around 10 a.m. Eastern and soared again. Other "meme stocks" that are popular on sites like Reddit's WallStreetBets were also up, even as the broader market fell sharply.AMC Entertainment Holdings and headphone company Koss Corp both saw big jumps in their shares.Analysts were puzzled by the new rally. Some ruled out a short squeeze like the one in January that battered hedge funds that had bet against GameStop and were forced to cover short positions when individual investors using Robinhood and other trading apps pushed the video game retailer’s stock as high as $483 dollars a share. Todd Cipperman, founding principal of Cipperman Compliance Services says it's time for the government to step in, but that it should't be Congress: "I would prefer the SEC [Securities and Exchanges Commission] do the regulation as opposed to Congress, because they're the expert in this. The whole point of the SEC is they're expert regulators. They know the markets, and they're in a better position to sort of analyze what happened and cut with a scalpel as opposed to with a chainsaw. So, I'm hoping the SEC steps in, and I'm hoping that'll be soon." The surge comes days after Reddit trader Keith Gill, who runs the YouTube channel Roaring Kitty, doubled down on GameStop telling lawmakers in Congressional testimony last week: “I like the stock.” His words have since been quoted by hundreds of his online followers and featured in memes on financial sites.
- The Daily Beast
Erin Schaff/ReutersThe acting chief of the U.S. Capitol Police just came with the receipts.Testifying before a House Appropriations subcommittee about the catastrophic breakdown that allowed thousands of MAGA rioters to breach the Capitol, Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman revealed that her predecessor called the House sergeant-at-arms, Paul Irving, at 12:58 p.m. to request the National Guard as rioters breaching the building and forced lawmakers into hiding.Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who resigned after the riot, called Irving again seven minutes later, according to phone records pulled by Pittman—and then called him at least three more times until 1:45 p.m.“When there’s a breakdown you look for those commanders with boots on the ground to provide that instruction,” Pittman said. “That did not happen, primarily because those operational commanders at the time were so overwhelmed, they started to participate and assist the officers… versus providing that guidance and direction.”First Capitol Riot Hearing Only Raised More Questions About Jan. 6The receipts–which support the narrative that a series of unanswered calls, withheld information, and conflicting orders led to complete malfunction—directly contradicted Irving’s testimony.On Tuesday, Sund testified that he asked for National Guard backup just after 1 p.m. But Irving insisted that was wrong. He said he did not remember the conversation with Sund and claimed he didn’t get an official request until “shortly before 1:30 p.m.” Troops were not approved to help overwhelmed officers at the Capitol until 2:10 p.m.“Mr. Irving stated that he was concerned about the ‘optics’ of having the National Guard present and didn’t feel that the intelligence supported it,” Sund said Tuesday. Irving, who resigned in the wake of the riot, said that was “categorically false.”On Tuesday, Irving said that if Sund, Senate sergeant-at-arms Michael Stenger, or any other leaders concluded ahead of Jan. 6 that unarmed National Guardsmen were needed, he “would not have hesitated” to ensure the reinforcement was ready.Pittman’s testimony—and her insistence that Capitol Police did everything possible to contain the insurrection—was just the latest twist in a series of finger-pointing between the top law enforcers in charge of securing the Capitol. During hearings before lawmakers this week, officials have blamed one another for the widespread failures.One failure, Pittman conceded on Thursday, was that nobody in law enforcement knew the mob would be so violent.She told lawmakers that they were prepared for militia groups, white supremacists, and other extremists to be present, but the small organization was not prepared for thousands of “everyday” Americans “who took on a mob mentality.” (Acting D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee revealed on Tuesday that the FBI intel consisted merely of an email sent on Jan. 5.)Officials believe over 10,000 demonstrators were at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and that 800 breached the building. About 1,200 police officers responded, Pittman said.She also made the stunning admission that since Jan. 6, Capitol Police have maintained heightened security because they learned that militia groups have chatted about plans to “blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible” in connection with the State of the Union, which has no scheduled date yet. “We know that the insurrectionists that attacked the Capitol weren’t only interested in attacking members of Congress and officers. They wanted to send a symbolic message to the nation as [to] who was in charge of that legislative process,” Pittman said. On Tuesday, Irving insisted that Capitol Police were privy to intelligence provided by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security that “did not support” the likelihood of a coordinated assault at the Capitol.An NYPD Cop’s Road From Terror ‘Victim’ to Capitol Rioter“The department was not ignorant of intelligence indicating an attack of the size and scale we encountered on the sixth. There was no such intelligence,” Pittman said Thursday. “Although we knew the likelihood for violence by extremists, no credible threat indicated that tens of thousands would attack the U.S. Capitol. Nor did the intelligence received from the FBI or any other law enforcement partner indicate such a threat.”Pittman added that because officers at the Capitol were not prepared for a violent mob, lockdown procedure was not properly executed. She added that some officers were also not sure when to use lethal force, and that radio communications between law enforcers were not robust.Five individuals died during the violent riots. Four were pro-Trump protesters, including Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed by a police officer after attempting to break into the Speaker’s Lobby. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died after allegedly clashing with rioters. In the days after the siege, at least two officers died by suicide.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Jailed Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has been moved to an undisclosed detention centre outside Moscow that may be a prison camp, his lawyer and a member of a rights organisation said on Thursday. Navalny, a prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin, was jailed this month over alleged parole violations related to an embezzlement case he said was trumped up for political reasons, something the authorities deny. He is due to spend a little over 2-1/2 years behind bars, according to his lawyers, one of whom, Vadim Kobzev said on Twitter he had been moved from his Moscow jail.
The first big real-world study of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to be independently reviewed shows the shot is highly effective at preventing COVID-19, in a potentially landmark moment for countries desperate to end lockdowns and reopen economies. Up until now, most data on the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines has come under controlled conditions in clinical trials, leaving an element of uncertainty over how results would translate into the real world with its unpredictable variables. The research in Israel - two months into one of the world's fastest rollouts, providing a rich source of data - showed two doses of the Pfizer shot cut symptomatic COVID-19 cases by 94% across all age groups, and severe illnesses by nearly as much.
- Business Insider
An ex-girlfriend tipped off the FBI about an alleged US Capitol rioter after he called her a 'moron'
Richard Michetti was arraigned Tuesday in Philadelphia over his alleged participation in the January 6 insurrection.
In the week since Washington offered to talk with Tehran about reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran has curbed U.N. monitoring, threatened to boost uranium enrichment and its suspected proxies have twice rocketed Iraqi bases with U.S. soldiers. In return, the United States and three allies, Britain, France and Germany, have responded with a studied calm. The response - or lack of one - reflects a desire not to disrupt the diplomatic overture in hopes Iran will return to the table and, if not, that the pressure of U.S. sanctions will keep taking its toll, U.S. and European officials said.
U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday told Saudi King Salman he would work for bilateral ties "as strong and transparent as possible," the White House said, ahead of the expected release of a sensitive U.S. intelligence report on the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The report is a declassified version of a top-secret assessment that sources say singles out the 85-year-old king's son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for approving the murder of Khashoggi in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia denies that the 35-year-old crown prince, the de facto ruler of the kingdom, approved the killing.
- Associated Press
Former Nissan Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa told a Japanese court Wednesday he believed the compensation for his predecessor Carlos Ghosn was too low “by international standards,” and so he supported Ghosn’s retirement packages to prevent him from leaving. “Mr. Ghosn had outstanding abilities and achievements,” Saikawa said, testifying in Tokyo District Court in the criminal trial of Greg Kelly, a former senior executive at Nissan Motor Co.
- KCRA - Sacramento Videos
An Auburn-area World War ll veteran received a medal this week for his action in combat 77 years ago. Retired sergeant Marvin Cornett walked to the Veteran’s Memorial Center in Folsom, the same height and weight as when he joined the army in 1941. There, the 99-year-old received a Purple Heart for his actions during the war. See more in the video above.
- Business Insider
Texas lieutenant governor says people getting huge energy bills 'gambled on a very, very low rate' - but suggests they won't have to pay the full amount
Texans on variable-rate energy deals were faced with enormous bills as the wholesale price of electricity spiked 10,000% during a winter storm.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he has not made a decision yet on the future of the two-decade-old Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States, leaving the fate of the pact hanging in the balance. Duterte has said the United States should pay more if it wants to maintain the VFA, which he unilaterally cancelled last year in an angry response to an ally being denied a U.S. visa. "I have not yet decided on what to do, to abrogate or renew," Duterte said in a late-night televised address on Wednesday.
- The Independent
Biden news - live: Trump Jr deposed over inaugural funds as White House defends migrant camp after AOC attack
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